- Gino Strada
- Surgeon and founder of EMERGENCY
Gino Strada is an Italian surgeon who has devoted himself to providing medical and surgical care in war-torn countries around the world over the past 28 years.
Dr. Strada has helped save lives by providing free-of-charge medical treatment to 9 million people and has led an anti-war campaign to protect human rights and dignity.
Providing emergency medical aid on the front lines of conflict in Africa and the Middle East
Gino Strada is an Italian surgeon who, for 28 years, has been providing emergency medical aid to refugees and victims of war and poverty in conflict areas of Africa and the Middle East.
He began his career as a war surgeon with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1989, and in 1994, he founded EMERGENCY, an international humanitarian organization. EMERGENCY’s mandate is to provide high-quality, free medical and surgical care to the victims of war, land mines, and poverty. Over the years, EMERGENCY has been working in 17 countries, building and operating hospitals, medical and surgical centers, rehabilitation centers, pediatric clinics, primary health clinics, a maternity center, and a cardiac surgery center. EMERGENCY currently works in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Italy, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.
In Afghanistan, EMERGENCY runs two surgical centers for war victims in Kabul and Lashkargah and one hospital in Anabah (Panjshir Valley), which includes a maternity center. In 2007, EMERGENCY established the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery, a Centre of Excellence in Sudan (Africa) providing free high-quality heart surgery to patients with acquired or congenital heart diseases. The center also serves as a hub for regional cardiac surgery programs and receives patients from 27 countries. At the center, EMERGENCY has performed more than 6,500 surgeries and more than 56,000 cardiac examinations. The center received world-class ratings for its work.
Since 2009, EMERGENCY has operated the only free-of-charge pediatric hospital in the Central African Republic. In 2014, when the Ebola virus (EVD) spread in West Africa, EMERGENCY established a 100-bed Ebola Treatment Centre in Goderich, Freetown, Sierra Leone, in cooperation with the British Government's Department for International Development.
Since July 2014, EMERGENCY has also been actively responding to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. It operates 6 primary healthcare centers in refugee and IDP (internally displaced persons) camps. Since 2006, EMERGENCY has been running a program in Italy to respond to the increasing needs of the migrant population.
EMERGENCY cooperates with the United Nations to effectively respond to the needs of populations in danger. In 2008, EMERGENCY became an official partner of the United Nations Office of Public Information and, since 2015, has obtained a Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Taking the lead in protecting human rights and dignity by guaranteeing the right to be cured
Dr. Gino Strada has actively promoted the values of peace, solidarity, and human rights by providing high-quality, free-of-charge medical treatment without discrimination under the firm belief that the right to be cured is a basic and inalienable right of all people.
In Africa, where awareness of public healthcare is lacking, Dr. Strada focuses on spreading the perception that healthcare is a basic human right and that the state should take the lead in guaranteeing medical rights. Through his efforts, in 2008, the governments of 12 African nations (Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda) have signed EMERGENCY's "Manifesto for a Human Rights-based Medicine" (a medical declaration of human rights) that recognizes "the right of people to receive medical treatment" and promises to make efforts to provide healthcare services free-of-charge.
In 2010, the principles of the Manifesto were developed into the African Network of Medical Excellence (ANME), a project to build Centres of Excellence to strengthen the national health systems of the African continent. The network involves 11 countries.
EMERGENCY medical staff provide free medical and surgical care to all those in need without discrimination under three key principles: Equality, high-quality health care, and social responsibility. EMERGENCY also provides thorough medical education and training to local medical staff with the goal of handing over its facilities to local health authorities, whenever operational and clinical autonomy is fully achieved.
Promoting a culture of peace through anti-war campaigns and campaigns for the prohibition of production of anti-personnel landmines
Emphasizing that war is a source of force and violence that cannot be justified for any reason, Dr. Gino Strada engages in anti-war movements taking the moral and political position that war must be abolished completely from Earth.
In 1997, Gino Strada, who for over decades has seen civilian casualties and human misery caused by landmines in conflict zones, passionately campaigned to ban the production of landmines in Italy. That goal was achieved in 1998. In addition, he strongly opposed and campaigned against Italy's intervention in the war in Afghanistan in 2001, and in Iraq in 2003. In 2002, EMERGENCY organized a campaign with the support of half a million people protesting the war.
In 2003, as the war in Afghanistan worsened and the war in Iraq began, EMERGENCY started mobilization of the civil society and collected signatures for the anti-war movement, asking government groups to stop the fire “before hatred and violence become the only language of mankind." The appeal was signed by world-renowned figures including MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, Le Monde newspaper diplomatic editor Ignacio Ramonet, Former President of Italy Oscar Luigi Scalfaro (1992-1999), 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchù, 1986 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine Rita Levi Montalcini, 1997 Nobel Prize winner in Literature Dario Fo, and 1988 Nobel Prize winner in Physics Jack Steinberger among others.
When, after intervening in the war, the Italian Foreign Ministry offered support to EMERGENCY's hospitals in Afghanistan, Dr. Strada declined the proposal stating that EMERGENCY could not receive funding from the Italian government, which was actively contributing to the war.
Dr. Gino Strada appeals to the world that "the best thing the present generation can do for future generations is to work together to make a world without war."
- April 21, 1948
- Awarded for
- Providing emergency medical relief in the Middle East and Africa and advocating for refugees’ right to be cured
Contributing to spreading a culture of peace through anti-war movement
1978 Postgraduate school, specialist in Emergency Surgery, University of Milan (Italy)
2004 Honorary degree, Engineering, Basilicata University (Italy)
2006 Doctor of Humane Letters, Colorado College of Colorado Springs (US)
1978 - 1984 Surgeon, Institute of Emergency Surgery, University of Milan (Italy)
1981 Visiting Surgeon, Groote Schuur Hospital, Capetown, South Africa.
1981 Visiting Surgeon, Harefield Hospital, Harefield, U.K.
1981 - 1982 Visiting Surgeon, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1983 - 1984 Visiting Surgeon, Stanford University, CA, USA
1985 - 1986 Surgeon, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Hospital of Bergamo, Italy
1987 - 1988 Surgeon, Emergency Department, Rho Hospital, Italy
1989 Surgeon, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Hospital, Quetta, Pakistan
1990 Surgeon, ICRC Dessie Hospital, Dessie, Ethiopia
1990 Surgeon, ICRC Hospital, Khao-I-Dang, Thailand
1991 Surgeon, ICRC Hospital, Kabul, Afghanistan
1991 Chief Surgeon, Hospital of Ayacucho, Ayacucho, Peru
1992 Surgeon, ICRC Hospital, Kabul, Afghanistan
1993 Chief Surgeon, Balbala Hospital, Djibouti
1993 Chief Surgeon, Berbera Hospital, Somalia
1994 Surgeon, Koshevo Hospital, Bosnia-Herzegovina
1994 - 2007 Chief Surgeon, EMERGENCY Hospitals: Kigali, Rwanda / Suleimania and Erbil, North Iraq / Battambang, Cambodia / Anabah and Kabul, Afghanistan / Asmara, Eritrea
2007 - 2014 Cardiac Surgeon, Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery (Khartoum, Sudan)
1994 - 2016 Founder and Executive Director of EMERGENCY NGO
2003 Antonio Feltrinelli Prize (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei Foundation)
2015 Right Livelihood Award (Right Livelihood Award Foundation)
2016 ESTE Plaquette (European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery)
The Hero who Fought for the Right to Medical Care ‘Gino Strada’
- Planning & Editing
- Sunhak Peace Prize Secretariat
- Publishing House
- MIRAE BOOK
- January 25, 2018
- Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Battlefield Surgeon
Chapter 2. EMERGENCY on the Most Tragic Frontline
Chapter 3. Changing Perspectives Is the Beginning of Peace
Chapter 4. The Sunhak Peace Prize for Future Generations